It has long been true that the most hazardous call for a cop is the one to respond to a domestic dispute. Remember, respect, and honor those who protect and serve, our men in blue.

Excerpts from the Article:

Auburn police officer William Buechner, who served on the city’s force since April 2006, was shot and killed Sunday night by a man wearing body armor and a helmet while responding to a domestic dispute, according to police.

Auburn Mayor Ron Anders made the announcement in a press conference on Monday morning, about four hours after the suspect in the slaying, Grady Wayne Wilkes, was taken into custody.

Wilkes was charged with capital murder, three counts of attempted murder, and one count of second degree domestic abuse. Authorities said Monday they plan to seek the death penalty.

Wilkes, 29, is also charged with shooting officers Webb Sistrunk and Evan Elliott. One was transported to East Alabama Medical Center and another to Columbus Regional Medical Center. Other officers had responded to the domestic dispute call, but were uninjured.

Wilkes was arrested at 7:12 a.m., a little more than nine hours after the initial call was made at 10:10 p.m. The arrest came at the 900 block of Lee Road 9 in Auburn, within about a mile of where the incident occurred on the 3000 block of Wire Road.

“It’s a great responsibility to tell you what a sad day this is for our community,” Anders said. “On behalf of our elected officials and our entire community, we’re very sorry that we have lost an officer in the line of duty.” Specific details of the arrest were still unanswered by Chief of Police Paul Register, including details of the domestic call that police received. Police said Wilkes knew the victim in the domestic incident and that he was not the person who placed the call.

Though Wilkes is from Daleville, he was living in the Auburn community, and didn’t have any run-ins with Auburn police before. Wilkes served in the military, police confirmed, but it was unclear where he served, and in what branch.

Wilkes did not resist arrest, and was cooperative once in custody, Register said. No one was injured in the arrest.

Police acted on a tip in apprehending him. He is expected to appear before a judge within the next day or two.

Auburn police held a press conference at 5:12 a.m., when they announced Wilkes was still at large. Police at the time said he was “armed and definitely considered dangerous.” Police told people to stay out of the area of the 3000 block of Wire Road, where the shooting occurred.

“At approximately 10:40 PM Sunday night, Auburn Police responded to a domestic disturbance call in a mobile home park in the 3000 block of Wire Road,” a statement from Lee County coroner Bill Harris read.

The officers were met with gunfire, according to Auburn Police Capt. Lorenza Doresy.

After the shooting, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency also issued an emergency public alert:

“The Auburn Police Department and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency ask for your assistance in locating Grady Wayne Wilkes. Wilkes is a white male, 6’4”, 215 pounds, and is believed to be a serious risk to the public. Wilkes was last seen wearing camo clothing with body armor and a helmet at Arrow Head Trailer Park in Auburn, Alabama around 11:30 pm on May 19, 2019. If you have any information regarding Wilkes, please contact the Auburn Police Department at 334-501-3100 or call 911.”

“When officers arrived a suspect opened fire on the officers, striking three of them. Two of the officers suffered critical injuries and one suffered non-life threatening injuries. One officer was air lifted to a Columbus, GA hospital. The other two were transported via ground ambulance to East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika where one of those officers died from his injuries. The names of the officers are not being released at this time pending notification of all family members and all of the police family,” the statement from Harris continued.

“I commend the members of state and local law enforcement who bravely pursued and successfully captured the shooter to ensure the safety of the many students and families in the Auburn area. We offer our support and prayers to the two officers recovering from their injuries and send prayers of comfort to the Buechner family. The ultimate sacrifice of Officer Buechner will never be forgotten.”

 

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